Academy Awards controversy

Onion apologizes for Oscar tweet


Funnyman Seth MacFarlane, known for his crude humor in movies ( Ted) and on TV ( Family Guy) may have earned mixed reviews as host of the Academy Awards. But his We Saw Your Boobs musical number wasn’t even the most polarizing event of the evening.

Satiric website The Onion tweeted a crude joke about Beasts of the Southern Wild’s star, 9-year-old Quevenzhane Wallis — and ended up having to offer an apology Monday after a firestorm erupted on Twitter.

The tweet, an attempt at humor that used an unprintable, derogatory term for a woman, was sent around 11:42 EST and deleted about an hour later from the Onion’s feed. By then the Twitterverse exploded.

Wendell Berry of The Wire, Treme and the recent film Parker tweeted: “I will never lose the ability to be offended and let anyone abuse a child. Especially a child in my community of NOLA.” Oscar-winning actress Marlee Matlin vowed: “Not that they would care, but I have no plans of ever following @theonion for their HORRIFIC tweet about a nine year old Oscar nominee.”

Onion CEO Steve Hannah apologized Monday on Facebook.

“It was crude and offensive — not to mention inconsistent with The Onion’s commitment to parody and satire, however biting. No person should be subjected to such a senseless, humorless comment masquerading as satire.”

Hannah said the newspaper has “instituted new and tighter Twitter procedures” to ensure such a joke will never happen again. Those responsible would be disciplined, he added. “Miss Wallis, you are young and talented and deserve better. All of us at The Onion are deeply sorry.”

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